the bank knew Mr. Leissner was at the center of the investigation,
the breadth of the charges appeared to have caught Goldman off
guard. The bank was not expecting a leader of its Asian investment
bank to be implicated as well. Goldman on Thursday suspended Mr.
Vella, according to a person with direct knowledge but was not
authorized to speak publicly.
has repeatedly played down its role in the 1MDB scandal, saying it
was unaware of how money from the fund was being used. The company
said in a statement that it was cooperating with the investigation.
chairman, Lloyd Blankfein, sought to frame the matter as the
misdeeds of rogue employees.
are guys who evaded our safeguards, and lie, stuff like that’s going
to happen,” Mr. Blankfein said on the sidelines of The New York
Times DealBook conference on Thursday. “Somebody’s going to use
phones away from us, and personal this and personal that,” he said,
referring to personal devices.
prosecutors have depicted Mr. Low as the mastermind of the scheme to
loot the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund. During one exchange with
Mr. Leissner, Mr. Low advised of the need to “suck up to” 1MDB
officials, including sending “cakes” — that is to say, bribes,
according to government filings.
filings unsealed on Thursday showed that federal prosecutors have
built out their case since they first filed charges against Mr.
Leissner in June. Back then, the charges did not contain any
reference to the co-conspirator identified by people familiar with
the matter as Mr. Vella. But the court documents associated with Mr.
Leissner’s plea on Aug. 28 do.
to that filing, the co-conspirator identified separately as Mr.
Vella agreed with Mr. Leissner and Mr. Ng, in a 2012 meeting, to
keep Goldman’s compliance department in the dark about the scheme to
bribe government officials to secure financing for a deal.
looks pretty terrible and a far cry from post-financial crisis
settlements,” said Alex Turnbull, the son of the former Australian
prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, and a former Goldman Sachs
employee in Singapore who raised concerns about how Goldman valued
the bond deals in 2012.